Thursday, August 1, 2013

Infant Baptism Defended, Argument 2

2. The natural, close, and loving relationship which exists between parents and children provides a strong argument in favor of the church membership of the infant children of believers. Once their membership is conceded, any opposition to the public acknowledgement of it by the seal of baptism vanishes, for it follows as a necessary consequence. One cannot be a member while being denied the seal of said membership.

It seems to me that nature itself pleads the case of children in this regard. Across the globe, across all eras of time, across all cultures, races, and languages, the natural bond between parents and their offspring is daily manifested. Are we to believe then, that in the Church (which is the ultimate family) this bond of love is nonexistent or suppressed?

Can the stem be in the church, and the branch be out of it? Is it possible that the parent, while he is in the visible kingdom of God, his children: bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, - have no connection to it at all? This is not the case in any other society in the entire world!

No civil society operates on this principle. Children are born citizens of the nation in which their parents resided at the time of their birth. By virtue of their birth they are plenary citizens. This means they are bound by all the duties, and entitled to all the privileges of that citizenship whenever they become capable of exercising them. They can never lose the privileges of their citizenship except by the commission of a crime. So why should this great principle which God has so deeply and permanently implanted in all human relations be set aside in the church of God? Why should it be less powerful in grace than it is in nature?


  1. Yes, scripture supports your view in this. Paul says, in I Corinthians 7:14, "[T]he unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy." For both the unbelieving spouse and the children of at least one believing parent, both the spouse and children are under the holy status of the believing spouse/parent. This isn't a personal holiness, of course, but rather "federal holiness," i.e., as seen together, as a covenant family. As such, those children have a right to receive the covenantal sign, circumcision under the old covenant, baptism under the new covenant.

  2. Thanks, Chris, for commenting. I always enjoy your insight.


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